I have drunk a beer that costs $3 for a 6-pack of 12 ounce cans. That’s less than a nickel per ounce, and as a comparison, Budweiser runs a shade over a dime an ounce. Class. Eee.
Hermione Hefeweizen and Irving IPA invited me out for Mediterranean food and then over to their house. Post falafel (“Mediterranean hush puppies,” Hermione declared), they realized that they were out of beer at home. The only gettin’ place between the restaurant and their place is a Walgreens.
Your Walgreens may not sell beer at all. It probably operates under the assumption that if you come in for prescription medication, acetaminophen, or a heated argument with the pharmacy tech about how many packages of Sudafed you bought in the last month*, you probably need plenty of clear fluids and nothing that further damages your liver. But lots of Walgreens stores want to give you an opportunity to buy beer and cheap wine, healthy choices be damned.
The Walgreens beer selection is limited, but it includes what appears to be Walgreens’ house brand, Big Flats. This Walgreens had already sold out of its cold Big Flats for the evening. Of the three people standing in the check-out line, we had four tepid Big Flats 6-packs among us. Popular stuff!
(“Shouldn’t that wheel be connected to something, like a mill, and not just rolling free down the river?” asks Irving IPA.)
After the cans spent some time in the freezer, Hermione and Irving took big swigs of their Big Flats. They swiftly and simultaneously had the same reaction: “This is lake beer!” Irving’s family has a lovely cabin at Pickwick, the lake that, along with dirt-cheap hydroelectric power, resulted from the New Deal-era damming of the Tennessee River. Irving and Hermione have spent many happy weekends marinating in summer lake water with cans of low-ABV suds floating nearby in foam koozies.
I wish I could report such a warm reaction. Big Flats isn’t a bad beer, but it’s about as flavorful as an unsalted cracker. I don’t think I’ll ask for it again unless I encounter mitigating circumstances, like the possibility of drifting beside a party barge parked at a sandbar in July.
*If you are that guy, get thee to rehab. Or an allergist, depending.